More bad news for the Wings...
But then the Wings lost Yzerman, and then they lost the game, falling, 4-3, in the second overtime, and falling behind, 2-1, in their first-round, best-of-seven series. Yzerman injured himself two shifts into the first overtime; the Wings would only say it was an upper body injury, but as is often the case, the enemy camp said more.
"I heard it was his back," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said, "but I haven't heard anything further."
The Wings thought they had the game with 5:29 left in the first overtime, when Jason Williams appeared to score from a hard angle. But the puck went in under the side of the net, disallowing it; officials responded by replacing the net. The Wings had already celebrated, and MacTavish was happy to see them have to put their arms back down.
"The thing that struck me almost instantly was the euphoria the Red Wings were going through," he said. "And it seemed to me a little uncharacteristically high for a team with that experience. (Manny) Legace did the jig out to the red line. It was like the weight of the world was off his shoulders. I'm sure it was a long skate back for him."
The Wings were mum on Yzerman's status. But their recent playoff history without him has not been pretty: The Wings were tied, 2-2, with Calgary in 2004 when Yzerman got hurt in Game 5; the Wings lost the series the next game. In 2001 against Los Angeles, the Wings didn't have Yzerman past the first game, and lost the series.